Exposé Online banner

Tom Dyer — 1 + 1 = ?
(Green Monkey GM1055, 2019, CD / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2019-08-30

1 + 1 = ? Cover art

Tom Dyer is something of a musical institution in the Pacific Northwest, having been involved in a variety of endeavors since the 80s, including running the Green Monkey label and being in bands such as Me Three, The Colorplates, and The Icons, not to mention solo recordings and production work. His last few releases have fallen into (more or less) straight-ahead rock styles with his bands New Pagan Gods and True Olympians, but he’s always had a vein of more experimental music existing in parallel with his rock work. 1+1=? leans towards this experimental side, even more than I Ain’t Blue Anymore. He explores a wide range of different sounds on these 13 tracks, starting with a lovely string quartet to accompany his lyrics of environmental concern on the opening track, “Everything in the World Is Returning to a State of Nature.” Then “Seven Times Is Love” brings in a combination of disjointed keyboard parts, overdubbed choir parts, and different treatments on the lead vocal. Other songs bring in a variety of wind instruments, percussion both live and programmed, Amy Denio and others guesting on vocals and saxophone, and twisted avantgardisms reminiscent of The Residents. Several songs fit broadly into a type of balladry, telling stories like “Death at Mounts Road,” about the 2017 train derailment in Washington State that left three people dead and dozens injured, and “When Roger Took the Bus,” about an encounter with a “hungry, smelly man” on public transit. Arrangements run from sparse, with just acoustic guitar, to more elaborate, such as the previously mentioned string quartet, to simulated full band sounds with saxes and bass clarinet parts. At all times, he’s likely to throw in unexpected tonalities — coloring within the lines is definitely not his thing. 1+1=? is an intriguing curiosity, a vision of pop-rock music viewed through a kaleidoscope of warped mirrors and unpredictably shifting angles, and a lot of fun to boot.


Filed under: New releases, 2019 releases

Related artist(s): Tom Dyer, Amy Denio

More info
http://greenmonkeyrecords.bandcamp.com/album/1-1

Latest news

2019-11-07
Glenn Smith RIP – Glenn Smith, founder, mandolinist, and primary composer of the DeLand, Florida based prog / fusion band Magnatar, passed away on October 18th 2019 at the age of 68, after a brief illness.  » Read more

2019-11-04
Dino Brassea RIP – Word reaches us of the passing of Dino Brassea, who sang and played flute in Cast for many years. By our count, Brassea appeared on 11 Cast albums between 1994 and 2002. He also released music as a solo artist. » Read more

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Paralell or 90 Degrees - More Exotic Ways to Die – Whatever else you might say about Parallel or 90 Degrees, they do have an obsession with dark subject matter: the first seven tracks are grouped as parts 1 to 6 (two are instrumental – go figure) of...  (2003) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues